Three words for money and life happiness.
It was a straight-up, in-your-face question tossed my direction from a close friend, and I started my answer with three simple words. I paused first, for effect, thought about how to land my point and then I said…
Luck. Greed. Fear.
His question was, ‘What made the difference in your attitude to money, and what advice would you give me?’
Luck played a massive part in my relationship with money. I was lucky to land a great job and to use that to expand my horizons and investments. I was lucky, but I increased my chances by being more open to stuff.
Luck is always an unknown factor, but you have to increase your chances of getting some good luck by speculating more. Suppose you are sitting at home on your off time and playing it safe professionally. In that case, you are reducing your chances to grab yourself some good luck.
I took risks, threw myself out there, tried new things and always had a side hustle. The more I tried stuff, the more I got traction and the more luck shined on me. I see it as a numbers game, try more, and you will succeed more, and it’s the same for money. Try to make more.
My advice would be to try loads of things and put yourself out there. Make your own luck and see it as a numbers game.
I owned a lot of nice stuff at an early age, and I realised that it never brought me happiness. I learned not to be greedy for material things, and I became more selective in what I bought. I gave stuff away, and I learned to live with less.
I don’t own a lot of stuff, and I feel lighter and financially better off for managing down my wants in life. I am now real greedy for my time, and that greed is making me look at how I can get to the point that I can control more of my own time.
I currently control about a third of my time. The other two-thirds are split between sleep and work. I am greedy and want more of that time for myself, which drives my focus. I can sleep less, but I still need to sleep some. But the question I asked myself ever more frequently was, do I need to work? And the answer to that is what I am working on now. I am working to own all of my time. That is the right greed to have.
My advice would be to live way below your means by managing down your greed for owning things and managing up your desire to control your time.
When I was younger, I would worry about what people would think about me, and I would worry about conflict and fear the consequences of that. That fear carried into my early adult life, and it would hold me back on doing things.
I was also fearful of screwing up because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself or admit to having made a mistake. I didn’t like the extra attention or scrutiny that this would bring, so I would avoid doing things. I was more attuned to sitting at the back of the room and observing, and I am sure ego or pride played a large part in securing this mindset.
I started to work on my confidence and explore personal development by reading books and studying human behaviour. I slowly reduced my fear of failure and learned to let go of my concern about what others thought of me. It’s not gone, but it has been shrunk in size and is boxed off more easily.
Now I don’t care much about what others think, and I am happy to make mistakes as I frame them as a learning moment. With my newfound attitude, I have been able to take better advantage of the opportunities that come my way.
My advice would be to learn from your mistakes and realise that most people are too busy thinking about themselves to care that much about you.
If I were to add one other word to the three I have already shared, I would add the word – TIME.
Luck. Greed. Fear. Time
Time, because it will run out, and my advice would be to make the most of it.